Give a healthy gift to your loved one!

Gift Vouchers now available for everything we do at Root & Branch – Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Oriental Therapies etc… Give a healthy gift to your loved one!

We find that people are often time poor, shy, not ready to make the commitment or simply not sure of the effectiveness of alternative medicine.

A gift voucher is a great way to allow those people to take the next step at their own pace, and allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment themselves.  We find that most people respond well and many of them make the decision to continue care.

Contact us to purchase or for further detail.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

My own private Miso

Hello, I’m Shiatsu Masa. I’m a qualified Shiatsu practitioner at Root & Branch Oriental Therapieshere in Abbotsford, Melbourne Australia.

It was almost over a year ago when I started making my own Miso.

I am trying to improve my diet with fermented foods which are good for your gut flora.

Homemade Miso 2017
Homemade Soybeans & Chickpeas Miso 2017, stored in zip lock bags, but also good in any dark airtight bucket or container.

I made few different kinds of miso over the last year. I made normal Soybeans Miso – 3 times and also I made Chickpeas Miso and mixed beans Miso which includes Black Beans, Chickpeas, and Azuki Beans.

I opened my first batches of Soybeans & Chickpeas Miso last month and It tastes delicious.

The Chickpeas Miso tastes sweeter than Soy Beans one which I prefer.

Making your own Miso is great because the good bacteria are still alive in the miso and the tastes get better and better with age.

The Soybean miso looks pretty good!

So, I prepared this year’s 1st batch after tasting last years.

Sorry I was too busy and didn’t have time to take photos of the process.

I hope the next batch is as good as the last!!.

I’ll write about making miso & cooking with Miso one day soon!

 

Have a nice day 🙂

 

Easy Instant miso soup balls

Nukazuke  (糠漬け)

Shiatsu Masa does great SHIATSU Massage Melbourne!!

 

 

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Sciatica pain relief with Acupuncture

Sciatic pain (sciatica) typically affects the body unilaterally, with pain extending from the hip / lower back down one leg.  People often describe the uncomfortable sensation as a ‘pain in the butt cheek’, often worse when sitting, as numbness, burning or tingling which runs down the leg or even as sharp and shooting sensations from the hip the calf.

Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying lower back condition such as a structural impingement or compression of the sciatic nerve, which exits the spinal column around the upper sacrum.  Trauma, chronic disk degeneration or even pregnancy can be the cause of the condition.  Sciatica and Piriformis syndrome are two conditions which are often confused, they are quite different structurally however the pain and symptoms are very similar, pain management of both conditions resolves over time, and the symptoms of sciatica can be expected to improve in the absence of significant structural damage.

Sciatica is a condition, which can come and go over time; western medicine typically treats it with surgery, painkillers, anti-inflammatory medicine and even cortisone injections.

Research into acupuncture treatments has shown effective pain relief and the resolution of symptoms are manageable naturally with acupuncture.  Fine needles are inserted into specific sites, which trigger a nerve system response including a cascade of natural endorphins and enkephalins for pain relief. Blood circulation to the area is increased which nourishes the surrounding tissue and over the course of several treatments it is likely to resolve the symptoms and prevent further deterioration of the condition (McDonald & Janz 2017.)

At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, Mark Davis [Dr of Chinese Medicine] treats sciatic pain using a combination of trigger points, electric stimulation, cupping and distal acupuncture using the ankles and wrists.  Increasing blood flow and relaxing the muscles around the lumbar vertebrae is the first step followed by targeting the nerve itself to increase circulation and muscle relaxation along its pathway down the back of the leg.

Manual therapies such as Shiatsu can also contribute significantly to rehabilitation through stretching and by working on the tight muscle tissues of the Glutes, piriformis and hamstrings.

References:

Table 1 & 2 of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017) retrieved from: www.acupuncture.org.au

Further Reading:

https://www.spine-health.com/blog/acupuncture-and-stretching-helped-my-sciatica-open-letter-spine-health-reader

 

Kvass & other lacto-fermented foods.

By Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).

I have been making Kvass this week, it is basically lacto-fermented raw beetroot cubes with added water, the resulting deep red liquid is taken in small doses internally for its health benefits.

Beetroot is  a powerhouse of nutrition packed full of vitamins and minerals, however it is higher in natural sugars than any other root vegetable, when fermented, enzymes and beneficial bacteria consume the sugars to make the nutrients more bioavailable.  Beetroot is particularly good for heart health, blood production and it is even said to lower blood pressure;  anecdotal evidence suggests that is especially beneficial for the Liver.

Taste-wise, the Kvass is a little sour, sweet and salty all at the same time.  In Chinese Medicine, the sour taste directs foods to the Liver, the sweet taste to the Spleen and salty to the Kidneys.  So you can see already that it is quite a well balanced tonic for all three organs.

Although it’s origins are not Chinese, as an integrated health practitioner, I prefer to mix the best from all traditional health concepts regardless of where they originate.

We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and the famous quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine.”

Asian countries have a long history of using fermented foods including miso, tempeh, kimchi, natto etc.  In the West also, particularly Eastern European countries have traditions such as Sourdough, Kefir, Sauerkraut and Kvass.

Before refrigeration was available these processes were used to preserve staple foods so that they were available during the colder seasons when there was less produce, however  as they have been shown to be a valuable resource nutritionally, the tradition continues today and the consumption seems to be gaining popularity.

Regular intake of fermented vegetables will improve digestion, resolve bloating and compliment intestinal health.  Important research is currently exploring the associations between gut health and cognitive function.

In Chinese Medicine dietary guidelines, over-indulgence of fermented foods can result in ‘dampness,’  typically noticed as excess mucous, a heavy feeling, diarrhoea and sluggishness.

So these foods should be enjoyed in small doses, as an accompaniment to meals, on a daily basis.

Other similar blog posts:

Nukazuke  (糠漬け)

IT DOESN’T GET MUCH HEALTHIER THAN BEETROOT SOUP WITH BONE BROTH!

My own private Miso

 

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis, by Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).

 

Plantar fasciitis is sometimes referred to as “Runners Heel,” it is an inflammation of the muscles on the underlying surface of the foot – the long, flat ligament that runs along the sole of the toes. It is one of the most common & painful foot problems which some people typically experience when getting out of bed in the mornings, or after being seated for prolonged periods.

Plantar fasciitis is usually caused from repetitive strain to the heel area, it is a common, and very persistent injury afflicting runners, walkers and hikers, and people who stand on hard surfaces like concrete & tiled surfaces for extended periods.

Although pain is typically felt between the arch and heel of the foot, plantar fasciitis pain often originates in the muscles of the lower legs and calf. When these muscles are tight and overstretched, it puts strain on the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. Being quite a stubborn condition, people can often see many health practitioners and typically invest quite large amounts of money in ongoing treatment for cortisone injections and orthotics.

At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, we have found quite a good success rate using manipulation of the calf muscle with heat therapy, combined with distal acupuncture which avoids upsetting the already inflamed facia of the plantar surface; typically most cases resolve within 3-4 consultations. Several products such as liniment patches and foot soaks are available to compliment the physical intervention between treatment.

Medical Science shows similar results; Xu Xuemeng et al., Guangzhou Dongcheng Hospital randomly divided 66 plantar fasciitis patients into an acupuncture group and a conventional therapy control group. The acupuncture group received standard acupuncture and the control group received triamcinolone acetonide acetate injections and local blocking therapy. The results were assessed 6 months after the completion of all treatments. The acupuncture group achieved a total effective rate of 97% and the drug therapy group had a 76% effective rate.

The aforementioned research is not an isolated finding; Guangzhou Social Welfare House researchers (Tang et al.) performed a meta-analysis of 19 independent plantar fasciitis clinical trials. A total of 16 of the 19 studies made extensive use of Ahshi acupuncture points. Based on the data, the researchers determined that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The following are some of the studies included in the meta-analysis.

Acupuncture has a proven and lengthy track record for producing significant positive outcomes rates for patients with plantar fasciitis. The data indicates that access to acupuncture, moxibustion, and TCM herbal foot baths is an adequate solution for the vast majority of patients.

Additionally it is worth considering that adverse reactions to acupuncture and trigger point therapy under controlled conditions by a properly accredited practitioner are rare.

References:

Tang, Cuanqi, et al. “Progress of Clinical Research on Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Heel Pain.” World Chinese Medicine 9.1 (2014): 120-123.

Gao F, Zhao B, Fan XH. Thrust acupuncture and injection therapy in treating plantar fasciitis 150 cases [J]. Yunnan TCM Herbs Journal, 2015, 36(6): 80-81.

 

Herbal Foot Soaks, for pain of the feet & ankles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – try Acupuncture first!

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Herbal Foot Soaks, for pain of the feet & ankles.

Foot/ heel pain relief available in clinic now.

Our feet are the connection between heaven and earth.  It is easy to forget just how important they are to us, in modern day life we wear shoes and forget to re-connect with the earth.  Our feet bear the weight of our entire body,  700 times each for every kilometre we walk.  Each foot contains more than 7000 nerve endings, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles & 26 bones (1/4 of all the bones in the body).  For many people, feet are a low priority when it comes to ongoing care….  And yet, all it takes is the slightest irritation on the smallest toe to give discomfort to our whole being!

Herbal foot soaks are beneficial to most conditions related to pain and overuse of the muscles and tendons of the feet, from diabetic foot neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, bone spurs and achilles tendonitis.  Prolonged use of herbal foot baths (> 2 weeks) may also be beneficial to general wellbeing including reduced stress levels, insomnia, migraines, fatigue, IBS and hormonal imbalances.

Western science is slowly catching up to the knowledge of traditional Chinese Medicine.  In a recent study done by Harvard, a simple warm bath before you go to bed at night can significantly increase your sleep. Click here to read the study.

HOW TO:  Initially 3-4 tea bags should be simmered for around 10 minutes.  Next the temperature needs to be equalised when the hot tea is transferred to the bucket, ensuring that the solution is below 45 DEC C to prevent scolding.  Best results are expected after >40 minutes use, a kettle of hot water kept handy can ensure the water is topped up regularly to keep the solution close to the desired 40 DEC C mark.

EVEN BETTER:  Take this time to relax, read a book, meditate or listen to some guided self hypnosis.

Here is a link to a breathing technique I particularly like:

Practical tips for dealing with stress & anxiety

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

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Topical Liniment for pain relief

liniment-for-pain-relief

There are lots of generic liniments on the market, but nothing beats the Dr’s own formula for musculoskeletal pain! The herbs which have been soaked for more than 12 months are chosen for quality & efficacy to speed up recovery, relax muscles and tendons to reduce inflammation, dispels stagnation & promotes circulation. Dit Da Jow has traditionally been used for trauma associated with martial arts, but suitable for strains, sprains, and muscular tightness and everyday aches and pains. For external use only, not suitable for open wounds.

Mark will often use the ‘Dit Da Jow’ in combination for needling of musculoskeletal conditions, sports injury and in conjunction with electronic muscle stimulation.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

 

Similar Blog articles include:

Have you tried Cupping yet? Detox naturally with Chinese Medicine

Dry Needling Abbotsford

Shiatsu Masa does great SHIATSU Massage Melbourne!!

 

What is acne in Chinese Medicine?

Acne typically occurs for the first time in puberty when hormones are surging, however for many people it can be a life long affliction.  In addition to hormonal imbalances it can stem from diet, skin pathogens, hygiene, excess sebum production and even as a result of stress.

 

In Chinese Medicine the redness associated with pimples and pustular skin conditions is considered to be heat, the pus production is a form of ‘dampness’ and irritation is a type of toxin accumulation.

 

People who suffer from acne have often tried numerous remedies without a great deal of success and some even resort to ‘heavy duty’ pharmaceutical solutions.  For those who would prefer a more natural solution, Dr Mark Davis (TCM) has formulated a patent herbal tincture, which has been well received by acne sufferers.

 

Good results have been reported with whiteheads, cystic acne, as a result of coming off the pill, hormonal and even stubborn acne which has not responded to other treatments.

 

The formula consists of 13 all natural herbs which work from the inside out.  it is super cost effective and easy to take; it reduces the inflammation, calms the redness, and improves circulation to control localised irritation.

 

Each 200ml bottle is a one-month prescription, results are often visible during the first 3-4 weeks, however best results are usually reported by the end of the 2nd month.

Naturally gluten free, 100% animal product free and no testing on animals!

Not recommended to be taken while pregnant or in conjunction with blood thinning herbs.  No side effects should be expected, however this is general advice and you should discuss with your practitioner if you suffer from allergies.

 

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

 

You might find the following articles also interesting reading:

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture

Dry Needling Abbotsford

A common question is “Do you do dry Needling?” Absolutely yes we do!  Dry needling is a type of acupuncture which is rapidly gaining in popularity, it involves the insertion of a needles into tightly bound muscle fibres, trigger points or muscular knots which cause local and referred pain.

By manipulating the needle in a specific manner, Dry Needling can induce a twitch response which will desensitise the area, resolve pain and release to muscle fibres to restore natural blood circulation.

CAUTIONARY NOTE – There is a strange twist to Australian Law which requires Acupuncturists to hold a bachelor degree level qualification and be registered along side other health professionals such as psychologists, chiropractors, doctors, nurses etc,. yet body workers such as massage therapists can do a short course and qualify to use acupuncture needles for ‘dry needling!’

FINDING A PRACTITIONER YOU CAN TRUST!

Dry needling is clearly within the scope of an acupuncturist, most Acupuncturists spend between 4-5 years of study on acupuncture alone, plus numerous hours of professional development each year.  An Acupuncturist who has an interested in sports medicine should be your first choice for the proper resolution of trigger points.

Acupuncture is a holistic approach of mind and body; Dry Needling is a local needle treatment to address physical pain, a good Acupuncturist will safely and effectively incorporate both aspects of wellbeing into your treatment plan to create the best outcomes for your health.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER TO ACUPUNCTURE?

The term “trigger point” was coined by Dr. Janet Travell in the 1940s, the Chinese medical literature described the phenomena of tight bands muscle bands, tender knots within muscles that refer pain to distant locations, and needling as a treatment for the problem as early as the first century BCE.  Many experts and organizations, including the World Health Organization, classify dry needling as a sub-type of acupuncture.

WHAT CAUSES TRIGGER POINTS?

Trigger points, or muscular knots occur when a muscle is overloaded, either suddenly or chronically.  Most people have at least a few trigger points, given that so many common situations cause them.  Potential causes of trigger points include:

  • Maintaining an awkward position too long
  • Poor lifting habits
  • Carrying an overloaded purse
  • Bad posture
  • Sitting on a wallet in the back pocket
  • Hitching up your hip to carry a child
  • Sitting at a computer for too long
  • Any type of repetitive motion
  • Poorly designed shoes
  • Limping
  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Structural anomalies (short arms, one leg that is longer than the other, an asymmetrical pelvis, etc.)

Much of the stiffness and many of the aches and pains that we tend to accept as a normal part of aging are likely caused by the large collection of trigger points that most people have amassed by the time they are senior citizens.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

 

Mark has a special interest in treating musculoskeletal aches and pains, he incorporates a three way approach including classic Chinese acupuncture, Modern trigger point techniques and ‘Tung’ style distal acupuncture for an all inclusive and thorough approach to resolving pain fast!

To make a booking with Mark, CLICK HERE!

Some other interesting articles here:

Dry Needling Newcastle

 

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

Have you tried Cupping yet? Detox naturally with Chinese Medicine

Cupping is a tradition from China, but it also fins its root in many other ancient societies from the Middle-East to Southern Europe.

Now, with the Spring Solstice just around the corner, your timing couldn’t be better!  We are all naturally susceptible to becoming run down around the time of seasonal changes, get in now to try it out, most people find it totally INVIGORATING!

The most common question I get is “Are those bruises healthy?”

Actually they are not bruises, but simply petechiae of non-circulating old blood which is drawn to the surface.  The effect will stimulate the new production of blood, increase circulation and have a detoxifying effect.  Usually the marks should be gone within 4-6 days; a darker colour means that there is a high level of toxins and stagnation in the section of the body that has been treated. In this case, the marks can last a little longer. However, if there are hardly any toxins, the coloring could be just a light pink and is likely to dissipate within a few hours.

Cupping is often beneficial when used for coughs, cold and flu, muscular pain, stress relief and even for anxiety.  Cupping can be a stand-alone treatment, or incorporated as part of your Acupuncture or Shiatsu treatment.

 

 

 

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

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